Singer-Songwriter Will Teach & Perform at Idyllwild Arts

Singer-Songwriter Courtney Kaiser will teach a class and perform at Idyllwild Arts at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Courtesy photo.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Each day, the music students at Idyllwild Arts Academy work together to hone their crafts. They learn from their teachers, by their own discovery and from each other. However, most say the best teacher is a professional musician currently working in the field.

This afternoon, Feb. 11, Courtney Kaiser, a popular singer and songwriter, will teach a Master Class to Interdisciplinary Arts (IM) and other music students at Rush Hall on campus. And, at 7:30 p.m., she will perform with Ashi, a jazz student and percussionist at the same location.

Courtney has toured with John Mellencamp, Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, and Tracy Bonham. Her group, Kaiser Cartel, is a low-fi, song-driven, harmony-heavy Brooklyn-based duo. Their music appears on popular TV shows as “Private Practice,” “Bored to Death,” “Exiled’ and “Alter Ego.” You can also hear her music on Starbucks’ “Have You Heard?” music compilation.

In her Master Class from 4 to 6 p.m. this afternoon, Courtney will focus on what makes a song successful and how lyrics can induce the musicality of a song.  Although the class is geared toward Interdisciplinary Arts majors, all students are welcome to participate. Courtney suggested that they bring a set of lyrics they love to the class. During that time, they will learn the intricacies of how songs become memorable.

Courtney has been playing and writing her own music since her early days in an arts high school. So she is especially fond of working with fellow arts students at Idyllwild Arts. And, to further the connection, two songwriting students will be chosen for a mentorship with Kaiser Cartel. They will receive feedback from Courtney and, at the end, participate in a music recording session and have their own CD.

“Our students are looking forward to interacting with a nationwide touring musician,” said Katherine Factor, head of the IM Department and poet-in-residence. “Her show promises to be both endearing and electrifying.”

The show, with Courtney and Ashi, will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Rush Hall on campus. It’s free and open to the public. For more information, contact Idyllwild Arts at (951) 659-2171 or visit

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

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